New technology reveals ancient Roman wall painting in the 19th century
Scientists have discovered the face of an old Roman man hiding under the surface of a 19th century mural painting precious Louvre Museum in Paris.
In the latest achievement in efforts to see what may be below the surface of the great works of art, the scientists describe the first use of an imaging technology similar to that used in security scanners airports throughout the body to detect the face of a man of ancient Rome.
They described reveal the image, scientists and art historians say there may be thousands of years old, during a meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. J Bianca Jackson, who reported on the project, explained that it was a fresco, a mural or painting done on a wall after application of fresh plaster.
In a fresh, Artist Paint leaks into the wet plaster and set when the plaster dries. Painting becomes part of the wall. The earliest known frescoes dating from around 1500 BC and were found in the island of Crete in Greece.
“No evidence of previous image, including nearly half a dozen commonly used to detect hidden images beneath paintings of artists forged signatures and other information not visible on the surface has revealed a loss in this cool image,” said Jackson .
Technology is a new addition to the range of colors that art conservators and scientists use to see below the surface and detect changes, including forged signatures and other alterations in a painting.
Called terahertz spectroscopy, uses beams of electromagnetic radiation are among the microwave, as used in cooking stoves, and infrared rays are used in television remote controls. This radiation is relatively weak, the paintings are not damaged and does not involve radiation exposure.
“Terahertz technology has been in use for some time, especially in quality control in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure the integrity of pills and capsules in biomedical imaging and even national security with full-body scanners that see below clothes at airport security check points, “said Jackson, who is now with the University of Rochester.
Artists, including some of the great masters, sometimes reused canvases, ending the initial image or covered with old paint new jobs. Often they did in order to avoid the expense of buying a new canvas or to enhance colors and shapes in an earlier composition.
The scientists focused on terahertz technology when suspicions arose that could be a hidden picture beneath the fresh strokes of a beautiful 19th century houses Trois Armes of spears, Campana collection in the Louvre.